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Esbjorn Svensson takes off · 18 June 2008

Yes indeed, one of the most exciting musicians in the world has taken leave of us, suddenly, accidentally and way too soon. He may have been Swedish, he may have worked in the leftfield genre of European jazz piano, but he still managed to touch – no, not touch, he reached in, grabbed and shook up – the hearts of anyone who was lucky enough to see his live shows. The first time I saw him play with his trio was in the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork, to a tiny audience of the usual serious music heads nodding away, and he managed to make all of them smile, some of them tap their toes and a small few whoop uncontrollably. By the time he came back to the Cork Jazz Festival in the Everyman Palace, the audience was everything from tuned in classic fans to jazzheads to grungy youngsters in trousers twice their waist size, and the place was wired with the energy the band fired off the stage. That was Svensson’s gift – he played potentially obscure music with such ferocious passion that it burned into anyone in earshot. Or maybe he played a weird Scandinavian take on punk disguised as jazz. Who cares?

Now, this is a food blog, and I can’t say that Esbjorn inspired any particular dish or made me want to eat or cook. But the spirit of his music and the fiercely controlled passion of his playing were inspirational to the extent that you want to run out of the hall and somehow ‘become’ your potential. If that sounds daft, this is worse – his music has often been the closest thing to the sounds inside my head when I feel most comfortable with my self and my work. Listening to him, I can cook, love, drive and play hurling like I’m a minor god. In my world, that’s as good as music gets, and it always felt like he knew what he had and what he could do to you. By all accounts, he was a fine fellow too, and why wouldn’t you believe that?

If I knew how to make links of all the useful words in this blog, you would have noticed them by now. I did know, but I’ve forgotten. But go out and buy some Esbjorn Svensson Trio albums, aka EST. Start with ‘Seven ways of falling’ which has the only vocal track he ever did under his own name, hidden away at the end, words and vocal by one Josh Haden.

If we meet again
I´ll tell you how i feel
I´ll tell you from the start
I´ll tell you love is real

How everything we say
And everything we do
Has been preordained
To bring true love to you
Nothing else is pure
Nothing else is right
You will know for sure
Once you´ve seen the light

If we meet again
I´ll tell you how i feel
I´ll tell you love is real

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Asparagus at last! · 5 May 2008

Spring seems to take forever to arrive some years, or maybe that’s just an illusion of age. There have been teasing inklings for a while now – the sun battling harder against the north winds, and the daffodils around the Lough – but you can’t eat daffodils. it’s true we had an incredible crop of sprouting broccoli this year, both in quantity and quality. And I should really have written here to acknowledge the arrival of white, blanched seakale which Ultan grew and tended so carefully over the winter, and which we had on the menus for three weeks. Thankfully, someone else remarked on it by writing to Food & Wine magazine. It was a joy to be able to cook with it and, as the writer said, it would be great if more restaurants – and their suppliers – were to seek out this amazingly beautiful and subtle tasting gem of spring time.

Last week, however, we got our first delivery of Ultan’s asparagus. Three kilos to start with, then five more a few days later. This week, it will be more like 25kg so you’ll see it spread across the menus as they days and nights warm up. For me, asparagus is the most optimistic sign of spring and everything that will follow on from it. For anyone who only knows asparagus as a supermarket vegetable, the taste of the real thing, from a local source and freshly picked, is a revelation. It’s a pity that it’s not easy to find local asparagus as very few people produce it on a commercial scale. If you grow it at home, you’ll know how much tending and weeding an asparagus patch requires. Ultan keeps a quarter acre and both he and Lucy have spent many a day over the last nine months bent over in that patch to remove any competition that the plants might have from weeds. The result is the best asparagus I’ve ever tasted and it’s an honour to have it on the Paradiso menus.

From next week, all going well, we should also have enough to sell a few bunches from the small shop in the dining room, so you can take a bunch home after lunch or dinner and taste the difference in your own kitchen.

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New photographs on the Paradiso walls · 5 May 2008

Regulars in Paradiso might be curious about the collection of old black and white photographs that have recently appeared on one wall of the dining room. It’s been a long time since there has been any change to those walls. In fact, the paint job is the original one, now almost fifteen years old, and is so multi-layered with different shades that we couldn’t re-do it even if we wanted to. And the decorative art boxes by Eoin Kelly that have been there almost as long suited the artist’s own wall-painting effort that the first exhibition became the last. Until last Sunday, the 27th April, that is. The photographs are of my mother, Kathleen Cotter, at various stages of her life, and they were put up to decorate the place for a very special dinner to celebrate her 80th birthday. Most of the shots are posed, and some are very formal, as was usually the case in a time when cameras were rare and film expensive. But they have a magic quality and a sense of a different era, which I hope resonates for more than immediate family.
Forty of her closest friends, family, neighbours, cousins and card-playing buddies turned up to honour the day with a small feast, which was a bit of challenge given that most of them had never been to Paradiso before. But they came with open minds and warm hearts for the day that was in it, and it turned out to be the most special evening ever in that room, especially for those who stayed late enough to hear the beautiful singing in the small hours.
Afterwards, I couldn’t bring myself to take the photographs down. Just for a week or two, I told myself, at least until my mother gets to see them again in the normal routine of a Paradiso lunch. Which should be this week…after that, we’ll see…maybe just another week…

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Bandon Revisited · 10 April 2008

Well, not quite Bandon, but Hosford’s Garden Centre on the road out of Bandon towards Clonakilty, where John Hosford has built a handsome new emporium housing everything a gardener could possibly need, with a damn fine cafe to boot where they serve local food, some of it grown in their own gardens. He was hosting the West Cork Slow Food for Kids event and I was asked to launch it, which must mean I haven’t been barred from town after the Guerrilla Gourmet event in Bandon mart. Now, my child rearing days are pretty much behind me, what with my two boys being grown and just-about-nearly grown, as well as the recent intervention of the good Dr. Pillay. But the issue of what and how children eat is a very important element of our food culture and I was delighted to have the chance to make a contribution to a day that was designed to be a combination of fun and education.

One of the things that was on my mind on the drive out of Cork was the tendency that has developed to separate children’s meals from adult meals. The recent announcement of the hotel federation that they werre going to do away with the kid’s menu of chicken nuggets, sausages and chips was heartening, and I began to wonder if it wasn’t something we needed to do at home too. When I was a child, everyone ate the same -relatively simple – food, though allowances were made for things kids couldn’t face, like parsnips or the tongues of beasts of the field. Now, as we graze off the global menu, it seems we often assume the children won’t like it and feed them from the Delia Smith ABC book. Hang on, she hasn’t done that one yet, has she?

The day was bitterly cold but the bright sun was enough to encourage the stallholders, puppeteers and trad musicians to carry on, even through the single shower of hail that brought my meandering speech to a sudden halt. Phew, said the kids, and we ran inside one of the polytunnels to start a cookery demonstration. In a tiny space in front of about thirty adults, almost twenty kids crowded up the front close to the wooden table where I had a wok and a sandwich oven to work with. We made some fritters from celeriac, though when I held up the raw vegetable the adults admitted they wouldn’t expect their children to eat it and the kids said they wouldn’t want to. Nevertheless, they gobbled up the cooked fritters as fast as I could make them. Then we made what is unpretentiously known as the best cheese on toast in the world. When I told the kids that I was chopping the wild garlic, rocket and spinach so small so they couldn’t pick it out, they were intrigued as much as horrified. Yes, they gobbled it too. Then they made a sloppy mess of trying to eat the noodles with sprouting broccolli, carrot, coconut, lime and ginger with the few forks we had, and out of one serving bowl. I’d like to think it was the highlight of the afternoon but Peter Fitzgerald’s talk and demonstration of a functioning wormery stole the show for compulsive disgust, or disgusting compulsion. How many worms are in there? A couple of thousand? Uggghhh. Child heaven.

Before I left, I had a bowl of Olive Brennan’s fabulous lentil and roasted pepper soup. Then I caught the last few minutes of the puppet show, from off on the side where I could see the puppeteers. Isn’t that Mick Lynch with his hand up the big-nosed puppet, I thought, he of the legendary Cork band, Stump, the man who penned the immortal line ‘Charlton Heston put his vest on’? Indeed it was. Lucky kids. I got in my car and the radio came on, with the news that Charlton Heston had just died. Time for a Stump revival, maybe.

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Guerrilla Gourmet · 17 January 2008

Some disappointing news just in from Loosehorse Productions, the tv company that made the Guerrilla Gourmet series – RTE, who are screening the series, have just informed the company today that they are moving the show from the original Friday night slot to Tuesday nights. That means that the show featuring our escapades at Bandon Mart will not be on tomorrow night but will be shown on Tuesday 29th January instead.

The reason given is that ITV / TV3 will be screening two episodes of the Manchester soap, Coronation Street, on Fridays and RTE are scared to put anything on at the same time. Maybe an old re-run of Magnum PI, but nothing they’ve paid money for. God help us, what’s the country come to?

It’s disappointing news because of all the positive publicity about the Guerrilla Gourmet show in the past week, which was generated by a very effective Loosehorse campaign. There was quite a buzz of expectation and excitement around the show, with a lot of people who are not Corrie fans looking forward to some entertaining home-produced television. Oh well, at least it means my mother can go to her bridge tournament, the lads down in Bandon can get the milking done, and I can make that poker game…

Do try to catch the show when it goes out, it is a good story about a very rewarding and worthwhile event. And feel free to let me know what you think of it too.

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guerrilla gourmet · 21 November 2007

Watch out for this short series starting on RTE television in early January 2008. It’s called ‘Guerrilla Gourmet’, and each programme involves a restaurant chef doing his/her thing in an unusual setting or simply doing something you might not expect them to do. I’ve just finished an exhausting but very rewarding week of filming. When I was first approached about it, an idea came out of my mouth before I had really thought it through. To be honest, I didn’t really think it would ever happen, another of those interesting projects that never get off the ground but are fun to talk about. Well, it did happen and it turned out to be an amazing experience for everyone involved. The idea was for me, a vegetarian chef, to cook a dinner in Bandon cattle mart and, what’s more, to convince some of the farmers and dealers who use the place to come and try the food. I don’t even own a television and I would have plenty of negative things to say about most of the stuff produced for tv, but you have to admire the sheer neck and fearlessness of people who listen to a proposal like that and then say, yeah, sure, we can make that happen.

We spent a couple of days at the mart sales, learning about what goes on there and talking to some of the men – and one woman – bringing stock to sell or hoping to take a few beasts home. I was impressed by their good humour when they might have told me to take a flying jump, as well as by their open-minded curiosity which was enough to get a crowd of 40 diners signed up for the event. I told them that the menu would be based on traditional ingredients, locally sourced, the stuff we’re all familiar with: cabbage, turnips, carrots, brussels sprouts, parsnips, apples and pears. And that it would be in a way that they wouldn’t recognise either in terms of flavour or appearance…and that there would be no meat. In fairness, most who said they wouldn’t be interested in such a daft meal said it with humour, sometimes with a little pity for the crazy man who would even imagine it was possible. The ones who came along did it in a very generous spirit of fun. Sure, what else would you be doing on a cold Monday night in Bandon?

This is in stark contrast to the reaction I got when I had earlier addressed a meeting of the IFA in Mallow in north Cork, hoping to drum up some business. Hostile and fearful would be a fair description of the mood in the room, and it left me quite taken aback until I began to think about the difference between the people north and south of the Cork-Macroom road. That could make a documentary in itself one day.

In one day, a restaurant was built inside an old disused building full of holding pens, and I mean a complete restaurant – kitchen and dining room, from stoves and ovens right down to tablecloths, candles and fine glassware. That evening, we – Johan, Glory and me – served up a four course meal to the forty brave souls. The room looked beautiful, the contrast between the formal table settings and the ivy-covered stone walls and the cattle pens giving the place a slightly surreal air that definitely added to the incredible buzz that everyone got from the evening. I swear, and this is not a boast because it’s not only a result of the food, that by the end people were high from the euphoria of the pleasure they had allowed themselves. In the sales ring afterwards, a one-man-band played a few Walls of Limerick or the like, finishing with a fine version of Mount Massey the Flower of Macroom, which had everyone waltzing around on the straw in a blissfully happy state.

I don’t know if this will make good television, but cameras or no cameras, it was a hugely worthwhile event that will be remembered for a long time by everyone there. It might not be enough to tempt me to get a tv again, but hats off to the people who made it possible. And a big thank you to Pat McCarthy of Bandon Mart for having the courage to see the potential good in it.

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Book Launch at Paradiso · 31 October 2007

Thanks to everyone who turned up for the launch party of ‘wild garlic, gooseberries and me’ in Cafe Paradiso on Monday night. The place was electric, bordering on chaotic, as a decent party should be, and the sense of goodwill in the air was very moving. I hope everyone managed to get a few bites of food…I know you certainly got enough to drink. The afters in Reidy’s was a lovely, relaxing way to wind down. Credit too to the Paradiso staff who got up next day to do breakfast, lunch and dinner as though they’d been out for a spot of tea and biscuits the night before.


Gooseberries on the high seas · 2 October 2007

Yes indeed, the new book – wild garlic, gooseberries and me – is finally in transit and stocks should arrive some time towards the end of this month. October, that is. How did it get to be October? That summer just shot by. Those who spent it in Ireland might be forgiven for thinking it never happened at all, as they pack away their still shop-creased swimming togs, unopened tubes of sun lotion and rusty barbecues. Unless you count those few weeks of sunshine in September. You can divide the population into glass-half-fulls and half-empties by whether they feel that was a blessing to shorten the winter or a mockery from the weather gods. Personally, I’m on the fence, mostly because I sneaked out for a sizeable chunk of the summer.

But, in fact, it wasn’t the worst summer ever down on the farm. The warm days that followed the apocalyptic drowning of July and half of August gave us a fine crop of tomatoes, aubergines, peppers, tomatillos, chillies, borlotti beans and courgette flowers. That’s a lot to be grateful for. In Paradiso, the menus have been loaded with this sun harvest and what we can’t use immediately is being turned into chutneys, pickles and richly intense reductions of roasted purees for soups an sauces into the early reaches of winter. The only black spot is the small crop of winter squash and pumpkin, but I won’t go into that now – perhaps in a few weeks when they are finally harvested and stored.

Oh, yes, the book…I promised before that I would write a little about what it is all about. Hmm…now I’m not sure I want to get into it. Perhaps you should just get your hands on a copy and see what you think. Or let me know what you think, if you are that way inclined. It was an amazing experience for me, writing the thing, so maybe I’ve had my fun with it.
It is one of the joys of working on a book that it doesn’t turn out quite how you expect it to. If it did you could simply dictate it to a secretary from a beach in Mexico. But this one, more than the other two, developed a life of its own during the process, growing organically into a collection of pieces about the produce I was working with in the year and a bit of writing. Some of the things I learned surprised me, as did some of the things I remembered, especially while writing about wild food, a subject that is always full of memories and almost-lost rituals. Mostly, the book is centred on the working relationship I have with producers, especially with Ultan Walsh, vegetable farmer extraordinaire. The recipes, too, came from the writing and the experiences that it led me into or made me remember.

If there is a theme to it all, it is to do with a sense of place, and the importance of people, location and the relationships we make and remake to hold together the food cultures we find ourselves in. I think. Or it might be a bunch of funny stories by way of introduction to yet another collection – 111, would you believe? – of recipes featuring, yes, vegetables.

We are in the process of redesigning parts of the Cafe Paradiso website, and as a first move towards efficiency have set up a proper online shop where you can order books and gift vouchers. The new book – “gooseberries” for short – is up there now and orders are being processed even as I write. What are you waiting for?

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Midweek breaks in Paradiso · 5 September 2007

From the 1st of September, we are introducing a midweek special offer of two nights accomodation in Paradiso Rooms and dinner on one of those nights in Cafe Paradiso. The cost for two people is just €320 and the offer is available Tuesday-Thursday. To book, call the restaurant on 00353 214277939


Cafe Paradiso breakfast menu · 5 September 2007

Café Paradiso breakfast menu

Yoghurt with summer fruit, honey & granola

Macroom oatmeal porridge with whiskey sultanas, cream
and brown sugar
~~~

scrambled eggs with chives on toasted sourdough with roast
plum tomato and purple potato hash

poached eggs with spinach on toasted poppyseed bagel with warm cherry tomato & avocado salsa

panfried oyster mushrooms with chives and soured cream, grilled bread and rosemary aioli

Paradiso oatcakes with Knockalara sheeps cheese, tomatillo chutney and tomato & rocket salad

buttermilk pancakes with strawberries, maple syrup and
vanilla mascarpone

~~~~
tea, coffee
toasted granary & sourdough


The worrying silence about the new book · 12 June 2007

I know, I know…at this stage some people are afraid to ask about it in case it’s a sore issue, while others are convinced the whole thing was a fantasy. One brave soul, David in Cornwall, asks it straight out – any news yet of the new book?

Well, the news is that the book is done – done, that is, in the sense that the text is written and edited, as are the 111 recipes. The photography is all shot and the first layouts are even now heading my way. So you could say the book is done. But I’ve learned this time round, more than with the previous books, that a book is never done until you get a real solid copy of the finished article, smelling of freshly cut paper and printers ink. That’s not a complaint, more an acknowledgement of the incredibly detailed work that goes into editing and designing a book after the author has delivered his sloppy words.

And in that news is also the reason why there haven’t been any updates here recently. By the time I finished first, second and third drafts, I wasn’t too keen on writing a blog in my spare time. By the time I’d finished responding to edits, I couldn’t remember how to construct a sentence I didn’t hate, and my fingers had developed a localised psychosis about approaching keyboards. That’s a month ago now and I can feel a little recovery kicking in. Seeing the layouts will mark the beginning of the next stage, the fun part, of actually seeing the book take shape. Now that my fingers are moving again, I promise to keep you up to date with it.

Some hard info to be going on with –

The book is called ‘wild garlic, gooseberries and me’, and it will be published by Harper Collins in the last week of October 2007. There are 320 pages, divided into four chapters of stories, blather and something like information, with 111 recipes and some very beautiful photography by Cristian Barnett. What’s it all about? Other than vegetables, I can’t really say now, but promise number two is that I will attempt to answer that in a little while when I’ve read it through.


William Wall Reading at Cafe Paradiso · 23 March 2007

1st Paradiso Book Club Meeting – a Reading by William Wall

Monday April 30th, 6pm – 8pm

This event is a fundraiser in support of the Friends of Londiani

Oatcakes and local cheeses by Café Paradiso. Murphy’s Stout supplied by Murphy’s Brewery.

Tickets, limited to a maximum of thirty, are now available from Cafe Paradiso. To get a ticket, you must come to the restaurant to pick up a signed copy of ‘This is the Country’, William Wall’s latest novel. This will be your ticket to the event on Monday April 30th. Tickets are not priced but instead donations for the Londiani project will be collected. Suggested donation is €40 per ticket. All funds will be donated to the Friends of Londiani.

William Wall will be reading from ‘This is The Country’, his fourth novel. It was longlisted for The man Booker Prize and shortlisted for The Irish Book Awards. Set in Cork, it charts the attempts of a young man to put his life together and to escape his criminal beginnings. Described by The Observer as ‘a deeply affecting account of love, loss and bitter optimism’, and by the Times Literary Supplement as ‘a compelling picture of a land of lost souls,’ it is funny and sad and bitingly satirical.

William Wall is a prizewinning writer of prose and poetry. He lives in Cork and is a regular at Cafe Paradiso.


Gort-na-nain Farm B&B · 11 March 2007

As some of you may know, I have been working very closely with the vegetable grower, Ultan Walsh, over the past few years. Since he moved to a new nine acre farm, three years ago, the range and quality of Ultan’s produce has been an inspiration. As well as being a passionate and hugely talented grower, Ultan has a fierce appetite for experimentation, and every season brings a new and potentially exciting trial crop alongside the returning favourites. This is a fantastic energy input to have behind a restaurant.

I love my regular trips to the farm, partly for the fun of checking up on the developments in the tunnels and open fields, and partly for the hospitality of Ultan and his partner, Lucy Stewart. Well, from May, this is something everyone can check out. Ultan and Lucy are opening guest rooms in their lovely new home, offering not only bed & breakfast, but dinner too. And let me tell you, they are both fabulous cooks and generous hosts.

So, for anyone who fancies a day or two on an innovative vegetable farm in the rolling hills of South Cork, take a look at the website. The farm is called Gort-na-Nain. It’s not easy to find, but it’s not easy to leave either.


PROSECCO TALK AND TASTING EVENING · 5 February 2007

PROSECCO TALK AND TASTING EVENING

Café Paradiso and Searsons Wine Merchants along with Bisol Prosecco will host an informative talk on Prosecco wines on Thursday 15th February at 5pm. The event will last for one hour and tickets are priced at €20

Mr Giovanni Oliva, of Bisol Prosecco, Veneto, Italy will host the evening, talking us through the vineyards, grapes and various styles of Prosecco available.

We will be tasting three very different styles of this wonderfully popular sparkling wine.

All proceeds are going to the Lodiani Trust.
The Londiani Trust has 90 volunteers from all over Ireland who will travel to Kenya between June and September to complete a number of tasks. Their misson is to work together with the people of Lelsothet, Benditai, and Ndubustat to make positive changes in terms of health, education, water supply and foods in their community, and to develop and enrich their own skills and cultural awareness.


T-Rex or Led Zeppelin? · 7 December 2006

On a rare night out last week, I ended up at a gig by a trio of Swedes with nice names and good manners. You might expect me to go on now to describe the aesthetic pleasure of new european jazz, its meditative qualities and the balance between maintaining the essential swing of jazz and conveying the sense of space and light of the northern countries. I could, and I do love that stuff, but thats not where the evening was headed. This trio – Peter, Bjorn & John – were playing what used to be called powerpop in the eighties. Short chunky songs with nifty guitar riffs and catchy choruses straight out of sixties girl pop. I don’t know what it’s called now, but if it has a name it will surely include the words post-modern, ironic, knowing and possibly contrived. That last would be unfair given how much they were clearly enjoying themselves, and the fact that, like all Swedes, it was obvious that looking and being deeply trendy doesn’t preclude being genuinely nice people too. Some time during the evening the issue of pop versus rock came up. Glitter versus hairy old afghan. If you had to take one record only to the desert island would it be Bowie or Yes, The Undertones or Lynard Skynard, T-Rex or Led Zeppelin? Is the perfect pop moment a higher form of art than the 20 minute guitar solo, or is it just a cheap thrill and if so, is a cheap thrill the best high of all?

Next morning I had to go back to writing about root vegetables. Because of something I had been reading, I found myself anthropomorphising them, the roots that is. Especially the classic trio of carrot, parsnip and (swede) turnip. Everyone loves carrots, how could you not, with their easy sugary pleasure, snowman’s nose colour and amazing versatility. They have swept into every food culture and been welcomed with a wild street party. The parsnip, though, has a complex character that rewards a little bit of work and, because of that, has a strong cult following, most of whom wear Echo and the Bunnymen overcoats. The turnip has had little but abuse except in Scotland, Ireland and Sweden where they are loved for their strong, earthy but sweet character. Like anything that has been pushed to the extremes of its culture, the turnip clearly has a sense of humour. Anything that cheers up the Scots has to have. And here’s something the turnip has that no other vegetable can do, not even the chorus girl carrot – its colour deepens as it cooks. How does it do that?

I’m not making direct comparisons between the two questions, mostly because my own answers don’t tie up. I’m merely saying that one question gave rise to the other.

So, for no prize other than curiosity – T-Rex or Led Zeppelin? Carrot, parsnip or (swede) turnip?

Now I must go and write about salsify without seeing it as anything remotely like Julian Cope’s earthy, pagan epic Jehovahkill.

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christmas opening hours · 7 December 2006

Cafe Paradiso will be closed for a little break over Christmas from Sunday 24th December, re-opening on Friday 29th December. We will also be open on Sunday 31st for dinner only, serving a six course special menu. See earlier post for details.

Happy Christmas, take it easy and lay off the poor old turkeys.

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New Year's Eve 2006 · 15 November 2006

Cafe Paradiso will be open for dinner on New Year’s Eve. I think this will probably be the first time we have opened on a Sunday, unless you count the time we fed Massive Attack one Sunday before a gig. They begged and one of our chefs, a huge fan of theirs, double-begged, grovelled and promised to work for nothing.

This year, we are offering a special six course menu plus a glass of prosecco, at a cost of 75 euro. Numbers will be limited to one sitting only, and full payment will be taken when bookings are made.
Call the restaurant on 00353 (0)21 4277939 to make a reservation.


finally...! · 15 November 2006

I came in here to post some information about New Year’s Eve in Paradiso, and realised that the last time I came here it was for the same purpose. I have an excuse. Actually I have loads of excuses, but one of them is genuine. When the site was set up, my intention was for this corner to be a posterboard for announcements like, well, what we’re doing for New Year’s Eve. Mr. Foley of Bite Design, however, was sure that I had deeply rooted but uncontrollable urges to blog and insisted that if the space was there I would get around to using it, possibly even to liking it. He’s a blogger, a very funny and informative one, though I don’t know where he finds the time.
Well, he was wrong. I e-mail a lot but to one specific person at a time. I text and natter on the phone as much as anyone else in this chattering country. Again, to one person at a time. Sitting here testing my toes in the shallow surf of blogging feels like how it must be to broadcast from a cult radio station on the 5am shift. Who’s out there? Ma! You up yet? Text a request and I’ll see if I can find it my record bag. That kind of thing.

continue reading this article »

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Wine & cheese tasting in Paradiso · 16 January 2006

On Friday 10th February, Cafe Paradiso will host an opportunity to meet two wonderful, and well-matched, food and wine producers. Jeffa Gill of Durrus cheese in West Cork and Claire Allan from Huia Wines in Marlborough, New Zealand will talk about their internationally renowned products, and conduct a tasting. The wines are provided courtesy of Searsons Wines and the cheese by Durrus Cheese.

The event will take place from 4.30pm to 5.30pm. A limited number of tickets are available, in advance only, from Cafe Paradiso at a cost of €10. All proceeds go to the Cork Mandala of Community Gardens, which works with communities and schools to create gardens in the city.


*Christmas & New Year opening* · 9 December 2005

Cafe Paradiso and Paradiso Rooms will be closed from Sunday 25th December to Thursday 29th December, inclusive. We will be open again on Friday 30th, which means of course that we are open on Saturday 31st, New Years Eve. The restaurant and rooms will be open as normal that night – same menus, same prices, and no hootenanny.

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